Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Simple Life

Life is complex, harsh, and often times just too complicated. Even if we removed the demands of our jobs or activities we'd still have our relationships. And imagine if that too we could remove, we'd still have our selves. And being completely honest with our selves, we'd quickly realize that we're no less complex when we are alone than we are with busy lives. So what is this simple life and where can we find it?

I've discovered something. I used to think of how foolish this was, but now I'm starting to realize just how brilliant this way of thinking is: it's not about me. We all know this, but if your anything like me, you've not liked it and really have not understood why it must be this way. I didn't come to this conclusion overnight and it has been quite the process. From my devotions this morning I have two thoughts as I continue to make life less about myself and more about God.

Thought #1 When it is about me, my world collapses around me.

There is some great irony here that I must speak of. We want (I want) life to be about me because it seems to me that if it is about me, then life would be awesome! What I've found and seen in the lives of others is that life just does not work that way. Essentially if life were to be about me, then I'm saying I know what is best. And in order to know what is best I have to absolutely "know" everything, including what will happen some day. There is no possible way for anyone other than God to be in that position. If I pretend that it is about me, when my knowing doesn't prove right, then my world collapses down on me and I'm left wondering what happened. Here's what happened: I can't know everything, thus life can't be about me! Proverbs 21:2 says that "a persons way seems right to them, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Thought #2 Obedience is simple and actually brings freedom!

I saw a tweet yesterday from one of my former students. She said she wishes she could go back to the simplicity of childhood. My take on that is that with adulthood comes independence and with independence comes the realization that is much easier to be dependent. I really wonder why God made us the way He did. We want to do things our own way (its all about me) in order to be "free." Truth is, that "freedom" causes us to be more dependent on those we don't want to depend on. I believe that is why most people express frustration with life. There's a great tension because they want "freedom," but find that it is just slavery.

Here's my conclusion. Obedience and dependence on God is actually a freeing and life-giving thing! Constantly praising Him when our created selves do something great instead of making it about how great I am makes it about God and not me. Going to Him for help when we or life around us are breaking down gives me peace because it is actually not about me. I read this morning that ALL things are from, through, and to God (Romans 11:36). So life cannot possibly be from me, through me, or to me. Simply put and simply lived, its all about God!

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light - Matthew 11:30

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